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Advanced flowback aid for oil and gas wells - PETROSTEP® ME-2

Dr. Jimmy Jin and Dr. Aaron Sanders set up a coreflood test in the Stepan Oilfield Solutions Laboratory.
Dr. Jimmy Jin and Dr. Aaron Sanders set up a coreflood test in the Stepan Oilfield Solutions Laboratory.

Stepan Oilfield Solutions’ PETROSTEP ME-2 flowback aid helps operators improve hydrocarbon production by enhancing the clean-up of fluids after stimulation, including polymer damage, problematic emulsions and water blocks, for example. It is compatible with completion brines and hydrochloric acid (HCl). Compared to competitive products, core flood measurements have demonstrated the superior ability of PETROSTEP ME-2 to mitigate permeability damage from the fracturing fluid as well as to alleviate water blocks.

This figure illustrates that when the fracturing fluid contained PETROSTEP® ME-2, there was a greater amount of crude oil produced into the fracture compared to the control, indicating more efficient flowback of the fracturing fluid and crude oil.
This figure illustrates that when the fracturing fluid contained PETROSTEP® ME-2, there was a greater amount of crude oil produced into the fracture compared to the control, indicating more efficient flowback of the fracturing fluid and crude oil.

PETROSTEP ME-2 can reduce the surface tension of 2% potassium chloride (KCl) to less than 30 dyn/cm and the interfacial tension with decane to less than 10 dyn/cm. Compared to competitive products, core flood measurements have demonstrated the superior ability of this product to mitigate permeability damage from the fracturing fluid as well as to alleviate water blocks. These results have been corroborated by flow visualization experiments performed in a microfluidic device, which illustrate that PETROSTEP ME-2 results in more efficient flow back of the fracturing fluid and the hydrocarbon displacing it. Ongoing field trials continue to validate the benefits of using PETROSTEP ME-2. 

 

Gas Production

After a hydraulic fracturing treatment, large volumes of slickwater treatment fluid could remain in the critical, near-wellbore region, which could significantly lower relative permeability to gas and decrease well productivity. Laboratory and field results have shown that adding a microemulsion in a fracturing fluid system could lead to enhanced productivity due to the removal of water and condensate blocks and mitigation of phase trapping.

Our technical experts have determined that Stepan's PETROSTEP ME-2, which is already being used in hydraulic fracturing for shale oil, can improve relative permeability to gas and identified it as a potential solution for increasing productivity in gas-condensate wells.  In laboratory tests, PETROSTEP ME-2 outperformed other microemulsions at the same concentration of 1 – 2 gallons per thousand (gpt) within the boundaries of the testing conditions.

Learn how surfactants that are beneficial to primarily oil-producing formations also enhance productivity in gas-condensate reservoirs by watching the recording of the recent webinar hosted by Stepan Oilfield Solutions. Our presenter, Dr. Jin has a doctorate from Texas A&M University in Petroleum Engineering and previously worked as a hydraulic fracturing engineer for Baker Hughes. He has authored and co-authored eight publications, all of which are related to various aspects of well stimulation, including matrix acidizing and acid fracturing. His research at Stepan Oilfield Solutions is focused on production enhancement, leveraging his nine years of experience in coreflood applications. 

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